Defining dialogue: "The world is full of complainers. But the fact is, nothing comes with a guarantee. I don't care if you're the pope of Rome, president of the United States, or even man of the year -- something can always go wrong." The curtain-raiser and template-setter for what was to come. It's all there -- the worship of the hard-boiled detective fiction of James M. Cain, the presence of Frances McDormand (who'd marry Joel in 1984), the yo-yo-ing between high and low impulses, the serious purposefulness filtered through irony. And that opening line, spoken by M. Emmet Walsh, neatly sums up their latest movie, as well as their initial salvo.
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